" A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother's love endures through all. "
Washington Irving

Back in the day


Adolphe Sax Patents Saxophone

Sax, the son of an instrument designer, began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15. His first important achievement was an improvement in the design of the bass clarinet, which he patented at age 20. He invented the instrument for which he is now known, the saxophone, for use in orchestras and concert bands in the 1840s. As a result of his saxophone patents, Sax was driven to bankruptcy twice. How?



Robben Island

Robben Island is a mile-wide island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Stone-age people lived there thousands of years ago when sea levels were lower and the area was easily accessible. Starting in the late 17th century, the island was used to isolate lepers and, later, political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela, who was held there from 1964 to 1982. In the 1600s, a ship laden with millions of dollars worth of gold sank off the island's coast. Why has no one recovered the treasure?

Born on a day like today


Edward Jenner

Jenner was an English physician and pupil of John Hunter, a pioneer in comparative anatomy and morphology. Jenner's invaluable experiments, beginning in 1796 with the vaccination of eight-year-old James Phipps, proved that cowpox provided immunity against smallpox. His discovery was instrumental in ridding many areas of the world of a dread disease and laid the foundations of modern immunology as a science. He invented the term "vaccination;" what is its etymology?

Last updated on Thursday, 17th May 2007

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